Orca Thermal Wetsuit
The Openwater RS1 Thermal Wetsuit is the wetsuit that provides the most thermal protection of the Orca range. It features a specially developed inner lining to maximize heat retention for open water swimming. It also has a second layer of “batwing” neoprene that provides more insulation down the zipper and neck areas.
In the torso, Yamamoto 39 technology which is up to 5mm thick provides maximum thermal insulation where it is needed most, without affecting your swim position or restricting movement. This material provides 85% more insulation compared to not wearing a wetsuit. The Thermal X high-performance inner lining retains heat more efficiently than the standard Orca linings.
Yamamoto 40 is used in the shoulders and back together with the Infinityskin lining. This material can stretch by up to 130%, more than double its original size, providing maximum performance in your swim stroke.
To avoid heat loss in the back through the zipper, this model features a “Batwing” construction consisting of a second layer of neoprene. This layer prevents water from seeping through the zipper. It also helps ensure a comfortable snug fit around your neck, reducing friction and water entry from the neck area into the suit.
Surf Swim School Verdict:
We’ve waited to while to see a thermal offering from Orca and this is a different approach to most manufacturers. The second layer of neoprene is reassuringly snug and we certainly found it helped to retain heat.
The use of Yamamoto neoprenes means the suit retains flexibility while being noticeably thicker in the torso. There are two layers that go over your head so it is worth spending a bit of time to ensure you get rid of any wrinkles before you pull the top layer on.
We tested the wetsuit in the sea pool with a water temp of 6 degrees. We could definitely feel the benefit of the extra neoprene and found the wetsuit was still easy to swim in. We recommend combining this wetsuit with the Orca Swim Socks and Orca Swim Gloves for maximum thermal protection. Don’t forget a brightly coloured neoprene hat too!
About the Surf Swim School:
We are an open water swimming school and club based in Westward Ho, North Devon. We run open water training all year round and if you are interested in joining any of our sessions you can find our timetable here.